§ Mr. Donald Stewart
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 20 December 1984, Official Report, column 270, he will specify the unusual climatic factors in the winter of 1983–84 involved in damage to spruce trees.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
I understand that the winter of 1983–84 was marked by unusually high winds and frequent alternation of cold and milder weather — conditions which, the Forestry Commission advises, would subject spruce trees to stress. However, it is still too early to say how far weather conditions, rather than other factors, were a cause of the damage prescribed in my reply of 20 December 1984.